Keep connected to keep sailing

David Lincoln

January 17th, 2022


David Lincoln

Global Digital Lead, Measurement & Analytics

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Accurate and continuous performance monitoring of a ship’s engine helps to quickly spot any problems, cutting the time needed to find and fixing them and allowing staff to take preventive action. But what if this monitoring is not available? We look at how ABB’s connected technologies can help you ensure that help is available whenever, and wherever, it is needed.

If a ship at sea suffers a failure in such a vital measurement instrument, it can be a serious situation. It risks adding costs in fuel and also potentially incurring fines for exceeding emissions limits.

Unlike a failure or maintenance task on a shore-based facility, a servicing issue at sea isn’t just a case of calling up your vendor’s support team. Many miles from land, all you have are the resources and skills on board if anything goes wrong. Neither of the two main options, returning to the home port or seeking an alternative port for repairs, are attractive. Both involve delays and the alternative port may not have the skilled service engineers you need

With berths in short supply at many international ports – delaying arrival could mean missing your slot, risking further financial losses as you become unable to either load or unload goods.

These days, digital servicing technologies have revolutionized how faults and services are manged on land-based facilities and the same is increasingly true of maritime industries. In fact, with their ability to offer support remotely, bringing servicing knowledge and diagnostic abilities to otherwise inaccessible areas, digital servicing could have been tailor made for getting a ship at sea back in full working order.

This type of anytime, anywhere support ensures vessels can continue to operate and remain compliant with all the relevant regulations – even when thousands of miles from the nearest port.

Making use of ever faster and more capable communications, access to technical expertise is now available in variety of formats. These include technologies such as Dynamic QR Codes and Augmented Reality, allowing remote technicians to work right beside onboard engineers.

One such solution is Visual Remote Support for service. A collaborative application allows interaction between remote experts and field personnel - live instruction and guidance can be overlaid on live video using Augmented Reality technology.

The solution offers numerous benefits. These include the chance to reduce downtime and costs by resolving issues more quickly, by connecting instantly to the right expert and information. It helps improve safety and awareness, gives better quality repairs and improves the life of the asset. In addition, it improves the knowledge and skill of the ship’s staff by giving them access to a library of previously solved problems.

One customer that benefited from this service is one of the world’s largest marine shipping operators. Aiming to reduce the impact of maintenance issues while at sea, the company needed remote maintenance to support problem-solving and troubleshooting for its global fleet.

With its augmented reality service, ABB helped the company extend the abilities of its onboard maintenance technicians. Using the service, they could deal with issues they could not otherwise have diagnosed or resolve.

The result was that ABB experts could diagnose issues from thousands of miles away. Using their expertise, they could provide onboard maintenance crews with the instructions they needed to solve problems, eliminating the need for reroutes, harbor stops and associated costs.

Using digital technology, whatever your shipboard maintenance needs, you’ll never be short of a helping hand.

Smoother sailing on the seven seas

The topic of connected technologies is just one of the Seven Cs in our marine campaign, which covers key areas where ABB’s measurement technologies and service and support can help marine operators and shipping companies to optimize their performance whilst minimizing their environmental impact.

For more watch our Seven Seas TechTalks webinars.

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